The battle between Asia’s best cruise lines


Asia has seen the emergence of more cruise lines and ships that ever before

The new Dream Cruises, Royal Caribbean’s technologically advance Ovation of the Seas, the arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel and long-time favourite Princess Cruises makes the region one of the most competitive cruise areas in the world.

Each  has standout features – from amazing new eateries like Jamie’s Italian onboard Ovation of the Seas to Zouk nightclub on the new Genting Dream and the kids whirlpools on Norwegian Jewel.

Which to choose? Cruise&Travel Asia’s handy comparison chart helps

Dream Cruises

Dream Cruises will be the first premium brand built specifically for the Asian market. The new Genting Dream which will start her inaugural cruises in November 2016, will feature an astonishing 35 restaurants, bars, lounges and cafés, as well as the famous Zouk nightclub recently acquired by Genting Hong Kong. The restaurants feature cuisines from Southeast Asia –  Singaporean fried noodles, Shanghainese dumplings, Indian curries, Thai small plates and more. Decked in lush furnishings, the Genting Dream will also feature an exclusive area only for VIP passengers called the Dream Mansion. The area has two floors of lavish suites, a private pool deck and European butler service. The line will be cruising from Hong Kong to destinations like Nansha in China and Da Nang and Halong Bay in Vietnam. The seven-night round trip cruise is priced from SGD$1800 per person, twin share.

Royal Caribbean

This American cruise line has the biggest in Southeast Asia with ships like Mariner of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas offering destinations like Japan and South Korea. But the news that’s been causing a stir is the arrival of the southern hemisphere’s largest ship, Ovation of the Seas, which has amazing new onboard activities like the iFly, Flowrider, SeaPlex which includes bumper cars. It also includes the amazing Royal Suite – a double story suite which includes a private dining room and lounge room, large balcony and a personalised genie that will try and grant any of your wishes. Royal Caribbean has a range of cruises varying from two night up to 10. A five-night cruise Bangkok Getaway cruise departing Singapore will call at Phuket in Thailand and Penang in Malaysia. The cruise on Ovation of the Seas is priced from SGD$799 per person, twin share.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has been awarded the Best Cruise Line in Asia. It is one of the most popular in Southeast Asia for travel to Japan. Other itineraries include destinations in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia as well as Brunei. Ships like Diamond Princess regularly sail around Asia. Princess Cruises is known for it’s theatre production – the cruise line recently employed help from Broadway in the form of Stephen Schwartz. He’s recently produced a special show called Magic to Do, specially for the cruise line. Princess Cruises is a popular premium line around the world and will be introducing a specialty built ship for the Chinese market in 2017 called Majestic Princess. You can do a seven-day cruise to Vietnam & Thailand on Diamond Princess which visits Ko Samui and Bangkok in Thailand as well as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The cruise is priced SGD$949 per person, twin share.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line announced just last week it would be sending the Norwegian Jewel to be homeported in Australia – meaning Asia will be also getting a new ship. The ship recently underwent a $40 million upgrade and is famous for it’s colourful and fun waterslide park, eye-catching livery and great spa facilities. The ship will be sailing to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Norwegian Jewel will be in the region from the beginning of 2018. The cruise line has not released any information on prices.